Express & Star

Toby Neal on politics: Zero tolerance policy needed on shoplifters

When confronted by a member of shop staff, a prolific shoplifter gave a response which was both pertinent and profound.


It was: "What the **** are you going to do about it?"

It should be printed up as a poster to be put on the walls of police stations and politicians' offices.

There is, by all accounts, a tidal wave of shoplifting going on. As you, a law-abiding Star reader, go about your shopping, you will be mingling with people who are stealing stuff.

Shopkeepers must be tearing their hair out. Once a culture has grown up which says shoplifting is not that serious and not worth prosecuting, or the suggestion is planted in minds that in a cost of living crisis it is understandable, and perhaps even excusable, to nick from the "rich" supermarket chains, then you have set in motion a chain of self-justifying theft events, if you can call them that.

The "What the **** are you going to do about it?" line was from a local court case reported in the Star the other day, when the shoplifter had committed over 100 thefts. He was brought to justice because there just happened to be two police officers in the store buying lunch and they were on hand to arrest him.